Sunday 1 July 2012
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: The number of civilians killed in Syria so far today, Sunday 1/7/2012,has risen to 57.
-In Reef Dimashq 12 civilians were killed. 4 were killed by mortars falling on the city of Dareyya. 1 person, from al-Tal, was killed during clashes with regime forces. A fighter was killed during clashes in the town of Altal. 2 young men were killed by bombardment on the Harasta town. A civilian from the Mesraba town was shot in Mdira. 2 fighters were killed by mortar shells that fell on the Ala’eb area. 2 civilians were killed by bombardment on the Hamourieh town.
-In Deir Izzor province 12 killed. 3 insurgents were killed during clashes in the city of Deir Izzor; another was killed when regime forces fired on a bus by the Uloum roundabout in the city. 8 were killed during clashes in the suburbs of the city that’s witnessing heavy gunfire, bombardment and clashes.
-In Dera’a province 4 civilians were killed. 2 children were killed by the bombardment of Khirbet Ghazaleh. 1 civilian died from a sniper-shot wound he received in the Kashafah neighbourhood of Dera’a. A child was martyred by sniper fire in the Almanshieh neighborhood.
-In Hama province 5 civilians were killed, including 2 women, by regime gunfire on the town of Helfaya, Reef Hama; the soldiers were stationed on the edges of the town.
-In Idlib province 4 civilians were killed. 2 civilians were killed by the violent bombardment on the town of al-Dana this morning, by Syrian forces stationed on the outskirts. 1 civilian died of sniper wounds he received in Ma’arat al-Nu’man. A civilian was killed in the Heish town, reef Idlib.
-In Aleppo province 10 civilians were killed. 1 young man was killed by excessive torture, he has been detained by security forces for 28 days, taken away from the al-Hamdaniya neighbourhood of Aleppo. a rebel fighter was killed during clashes in Darat Izza, Reef Aleppo. Another died of wounds he received earlier during clashes with regime forces in Daret A’zeh, reef Aleppo. A civilian died of wounds received earlier when he was shot by regime forces in Alatareb, reef Aleppo. An activist was shot in the Almaisr neighborhood. 2 insurgents were killed by an IED explosion west of the Alsafira town. A woman and her 8 year old grand son were killed by gunfire and bombardment on the A’zaz town. 2 civilians were shot on the A’frin road, their identities are still unknown.
-In Homs 8 civilians were killed. 1 civilian was killed when a
building collapsed, because of the shelling, in the Jourat al-Shayyah neighbourhood of Homs. The bodies of 2 civilians were found in Reef Homs, they were taken and killed last night by shabiha.
A civilian was killed by bombardment on the city. A woman and her son were killed by mortar shells that fell on the Alhoula town and its surroundings. A civilian from the town of Alrastan was killed by regime forces while trying to resuscitate him to one of the hospitals in Hama province. A civilian died of wounds he received by mortar shells on the Altalbiseh town.
-In Dimashq province 2 civilians were killed. 1 died under torture after he was detained for 27 days from Alsueiqa neighborhood. A civilian from Joubar neighborhood was shot by sniper fire in Zamalka, reef Dimashq.
4 unidentified bodies were found by the Mastouma camp, Reef Idlib.
A defected soldier was killed during clashes in Douma, Reef Dimashq; and another defected soldier was killed by mortar shells that fell on Zamalka, Reef Dimashq.
At least 19 regime forces were killed by clashes in the provinces of Deir Izzor, Homs, Aleppo and reef Dimashq
[local time] 20:43 Syrian forces on Sunday shelled the city of Dael in Daraa, Al-Jazeera television quoted the Syrian Media Center as saying.
19:39 Syrian forces shelled Sunday the town of Basra al-Sham in Daraa; killing and wounding a number of people, Al-Jazeera television quoted activists as saying.
19:04 Syrian forces on Sunday shelled the Damascus suburbs of Arbeen, Hamouriya and Misraba, Al-Jazeera television reported.
18:06 Turkey scrambled fighter jets after Syrian helicopters flew close to the border, the army said Sunday, hiking tensions following last month’s downing of a Turkish plane.
17:53 Syria forces are shelling the town of Qusayr outside Homs, Al-Arabiya television reported.
15:13 Iran on Sunday said weekend talks held between major powers seeking a solution to the conflict in Syria were “unsuccessful” because it and Syria were excluded.
13:40 Syria’s death toll increased to 37 people on Sunday, Al-Jazeera quoted activists as saying.
13:34 The Syrian army’s shelling of Daraa’s Kherbet Ghazaleh killed a number of people, Al-Jazeera quoted activists as saying.
13:21 The Syrian opposition spokesperson on Sunday welcomed ”a few positive elements” in a transition deal hammered out by world powers aimed at resolving the bloody conflict, but said the plan was too vague.
13:02 At least nine people were killed in fighting across Syria on Sunday, a watchdog said, as rebels and regime troops clashed in several provinces as they battled for control of restive areas.
11:14 Both official Syrian media and an opposition group demonstrated rare agreement on Sunday in slamming as a failure the outcome of a world powers deal on a transition for the violence-ridden country.
11:10 Syrian forces have killed six people so far on Sunday, Al-Arabiya TV quoted activists as saying.
8:03 Mortar fire killed 30 civilians who were attending a funeral in the town of Zamalka on Saturday, 10 kilometers (six miles) east of the Syrian capital of Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights said.
Syrian forces swept through the corpse-strewn streets of nearly-deserted opposition districts on the outskirts of the capital on Sunday, as the conflict enters a new phase of heavier fighting near Bashar al-Assad’s seat of power.
Government troops also bombed and shelled other towns across the country, a day after Russian diplomats rode again to Assad’s rescue, blocking language at a meeting of world powers that would have called on the president to leave power.
Sixteen months into an uprising against Assad in which more than 10,000 people have been killed, intensive fighting and shelling has now reached the outskirts of Damascus. New tension has also built up on the frontier with Turkey in recent days after Syrian forces shot down a Turkish jet.
Residents of the Zamalka district on the capital’s outskirts were struggling on Sunday to bury dozens of people killed the day before in a mortar attack on an anti-Assad march, opposition activist Susan Ahmad said by phone from the Damascus suburbs.
More than 40 people were killed in the attack on Saturday when security forces fired a mortar bomb into a funeral procession in Zamalka for a man who had been killed in shelling, activists said.
“It is really bad today across Damascus,” said Ahmad. “Zamalka was like a massacre, but we couldn’t bury all of the martyrs as it is dangerous to be out on the streets and we can’t treat the wounded. There is no medicine.”
Government troops were raiding Zamalka and Douma, a town of half a million people on the outskirts of Damascus that now stands almost empty after siege and shelling as the army tried to root out rebels, she said.
“Douma is completely destroyed,” said Ahmad. “If you go to Douma you can smell the bodies. It’s really like a ghost city.”
On Saturday, Free Syrian Army fighters fled the town and residents said they feared a massacre at the hands of troops entering it.
Turkey said on Sunday it had scrambled F-16 fighters near the frontier the previous day in response to three separate incidents after Syrian helicopters approached the border.
Turkey, a NATO member that has turned against Assad and allowed its territory to become a rear base for rebels, has mobilized since Syrian forces shot down one of its jets 10 days ago. It sent forces towards the border this week and said it would treat Syrian troops approaching the frontier as hostile.
Top level diplomacy has so far been futile, and a much-anticipated meeting in Geneva on Saturday showed that Western and Arab states had yet to persuade Russia and China to drop support for Assad.
The two countries have repeatedly used veto power at the U.N. Security Council to block calls for Assad to leave power.
The meeting, convened by peace envoy Kofi Annan, agreed that Syria should seek a transitional unity government, but Moscow and Beijing successfully blocked language that would have suggested the new arrangement should exclude Assad.
Western officials say the text agreed at the talks – billed as a last-ditch effort to halt the worsening violence – still implies indirectly that Assad should stand down, but Moscow says it does no such thing.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-Assad violence monitoring group in Britain, said more than 150 people had been killed on Saturday and Sunday. It said there was shelling in southern Deraa province and the central city of Homs, long the focus of previous crackdowns.
“We can hear bombing in different areas of Homs city today,” said Waleed Fares, an opposition activists who lives in the central Khalidiya district of Homs. The Syrian authorities severely restrict the media, making it extremely difficult to verify such reports.
“There are three-storey building that have fallen down as the Syrian army is using large mortars,” he said, adding that seven people had been killed on Sunday and 14 more wounded.
Efforts by International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to evacuate civilians and wounded from Homs have failed twice since the humanitarian group said it had obtained assurances on June 20 from both authorities and rebel forces that their convoys would be allowed access.
Violence prevented safe passage on both attempts, the Red Cross said.
Activist Fares says civilians are trapped in the heart of the city as the army has surrounded central districts and positioned snipers on roofs to shoot people in the street.
“There is no safe place for civilians to go,” he said via Skype.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday the Geneva agreement did not imply at all that Assad should step down, as there were no preconditions excluding any group from the proposed national unity government.
Nevertheless, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the creation of a unity government would imply an end to Assad’s rule, because the opposition would not join unless he goes.
“The opposition will never agree to him, so it signals implicitly that Assad must go and that he is finished,” Fabius told television station TF1 on Sunday.
Peace envoy Annan, a former U.N. secretary-general, said after the Geneva talks the transitional government should include members of Assad’s administration and the Syrian opposition and that it should arrange free elections.
“Time is running out. The conflict must be resolved through peaceful dialogue and negotiations,” Annan told reporters.
Annan’s plan is the only international peace effort on the table, but has been essentially ignored by Assad’s government, with a ceasefire that failed to hold and a small team of unarmed U.N. monitors announcing they could not do their job.